Sunday, April 18

Gettin' Round(check this for more info)

Hey folks-

Last night I was in here, tapping away on my computer, when I overheard a conversation between two people sitting behind me. I'll paraphrase:

"Yeah, he just loves trains. Last year he took a train from Hartford to DC, then back. That's how much he loves them."

I don't know the guy's name,but I certainly can commiserate with him. I just wish our legislators would feel half as energetic.

Along the shoreline, CT residents have it just fine. (Well,relatively speaking.) But move just a bit north, and it's Sahara in Connecticut. And in this state, we aren't exactly fighting back the sand dunes either.

I did a little checking, one the Hartford(Connecticut)-Boston route, the other the Paris-Nantes route. In case you're wondering, Paris-Nantes is about twice the distance of Hartford-Boston. Check that. Twice. Okay,you say. twice the distance, twice the number of hours to get there. Except, that's not true. At its fastest, French trains are twice as fast as American ones.

Next, I would like to discuss number of trips per day. For those who have spent their life in the US, they probably say, "Well, that's not bad. Morning, afternoon, and evening - that's really not so bad".

Well, let's compare that to the Paris-Nantes example. Paris sends out twenty-one trains per day. On the route back, Nantes sends out twenty-three trains per day. If you miss the train in Hartford, wait several hours. If you miss the train in Paris or Nantes, you never wait more than an hour.

Finally, price. Amtrak's is a bit confusing, one saying $100, the other having three tiers:$82.00, 77.00, or 57.00. Now, 57 dollars seems reasonable - until you realize the French are offering twice the distance at the rate of $62.00. (roughly, a New York City - Boston trip)
By the way, did I mention the hour and a half wait you have between trains when you get to New Haven?

Now, I'm not waving a "Let's beat Paris!" flag in people's faces. Nor am I saving my pennies for a Paris move. Much as I love the cite it's New England that I truly love. To the rest of the nation, all I can say is compare your train service to that of RailEurope. Then, if you're truly steamed - don't call Amtrak. Contact your Congressperson. Contact your Senators. Contact the President. Tell them we don't need roads any more, we need rails - immediately.

Thanks for listening. If you send it out send me a quick Twitter or e-mail.

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